Southwest Tennessee Community College

May 4, 2005

For more information, contact: Kimberly Stark (901) 333-4023 or (901) 489-4772 (Cell)

A C Wharton Jr. to speak at Southwest Commencement Exercises

At the 2005 commencement of Southwest Tennessee Community College, Shelby County Mayor, A C Wharton Jr. will be the honored speaker. The Commencement Ceremony will take place at The Pyramid on May 13, 2005 at 10: 30 a.m.

For more than two decades a public servant, Wharton began his service in 1980 when he was appointed County Public Defender. From the beginning, he viewed his role through a wider lens, as one responsible for the future of clients as productive members of his community.

With education as a central focus, he coordinated with Habitat for Humanity to establish a system of opportunity that included design and implementation of Tennessee’s first program to train prisoners in the building trades. In addition, he was instrumental in developing and maintaining support for Building for the Future, an award-winning program that trains inmates to build low-cost housing.

Mayor Wharton has consistently involved himself in education. A graduate of Tennessee State University and the University of Mississippi Law School, he was the first African American professor of law at “Ole Miss,” serving as adjunct faculty there for 25 years. He has served as chairman of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, among other board memberships and offices. One of his first challenges as mayor was the overhaul of the county’s Head Start Program.

It is with great anticipation that the Southwest Graduating Class of 2005 enlists Mayor Wharton as their commencement speaker.